China says Taiwan politics don’t change ‘fact’ there is ‘one China’

China says spy claims in Germany and Britain are malicious
Source: Pixabay

Beijing’s top diplomat Monday said that Taiwan’s internal politics did not change the “fact” it was part of China, calling efforts towards the island’s independence “dangerous” after it swore in new President Lai Ching-te.

China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has long threatened to use force to bring the island under its control.

It has described Lai as a “dangerous separatist” for his past comments on Taiwan’s independence — rhetoric that he has moderated in recent years.

Speaking in Astana, Kazakhstan, at a meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization foreign ministers, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi warned “Taiwan independence efforts” represented “the most serious challenge to the international order”.

They were, he said, “the most dangerous change to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and the most significant disruption of peace in the Taiwan Strait”, according to a readout of his comments from the Chinese foreign ministry.

“There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China,” he said.

“This is a historical and legal fact. No matter how the situation in Taiwan changes, it cannot change this,” Wang added.

It is a “historical inevitability”, he said, “that China will eventually be reunified”.

As Lai took office, Chinese state media reported Beijing had imposed sanctions on three US defence companies over their sales of weapons to Taipei.

Though the United States formally recognises Beijing, it is Taipei’s main partner and supplier of arms.

Asked about Lai’s inauguration Monday, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused “some politicians in a small number of countries” of engaging in “political manipulation… on the Taiwan issue, severely interfering in China’s internal politics”.

“China strongly condemns this, and will take some necessary measures to resolutely protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.

Chinese social media network Weibo also blocked hashtags referencing the inauguration, preventing them from trending on the platform used by hundreds of millions in China.

In his inauguration speech, Lai directly addressed the threat of war following years of growing pressure from China to bring Taiwan under mainland rule.

Lai said a “glorious era of Taiwan’s democracy has arrived”, and thanked citizens for “refusing to be swayed by external forces, for resolutely defending democracy”.

Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office — which manages relations with the island — slammed the speech as sending a “dangerous signal”, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Office spokesman Chen Binhua was quoted as saying Lai’s remarks “wantonly advocated separatism, incited cross-strait confrontation and sought independence by relying on foreign support and by force”.

He went on to accuse Lai of ignoring Taiwan’s “mainstream public aspiration… for peace and development”.

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter